ROME — Popes Benedict XVI and John Paul II knew sexual misbehavior accusations versus American Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, whom the Vatican later on defrocked after examining the claims, however they did not stop the effective cleric’s increase through the church, according to a report launched Tuesday.
McCarrick, among the most popular figures in the U.S. Roman Catholic Church prior to his fall from power, was expelled from the priesthood in 2019 after a Vatican examination.
The 460-page Vatican report launched Tuesday details how the 2 popes, along with senior U.S. Catholic authorities, knew the sexual misbehavior accusations, consisting of that McCarrick shared a bed with seminarians at his New Jersey beach home and a not successful effort to limit his function in public life in the 1990s.
The report stated there was “credible evidence” that McCarrick had actually abused minors when he was a priest in the 1970s however that the proof did not surface area till 2017. Before then, the church was just knowledgeable about constant reports, the report discovered, with McCarrick’s rejections accepted for years.
“At the time of McCarrick’s appointment and in part because of the limited nature of the Holy See’s own prior investigations, the Holy See never received a complaint directly from a victim, whether adult or minor, about McCarrick’s misconduct,” the report stated.
“For this reason, McCarrick’s supporters could plausibly characterize the allegations against him as ‘gossip’ or ‘rumors.'”
John Paul II served from 1978 till his death in 2005 and was prospered by Benedict, who retired in 2013 and is now pope emeritus. (John Paul was stated a saint in 2014.)
The accusations versus McCarrick, the greatest profile church figure to have actually been dismissed from the priesthood in contemporary times, go back years.
James Grein, among the guys whose allegations of sexual assault led to McCarrick’s defrocking, has actually stated he personally informed John Paul II about the abuse throughout a 1988 Vatican audience.
“He blessed me, he put his hands on me, then he dismissed me,” Grein stated throughout a press conference in August 2019 in Manhattan.
He was amongst numerous kid sex abuse victims who submitted suits in New York under the Child Victims Act, which enables people to take legal action against despite when the supposed acts occurred. The legislation was bitterly opposed by the Catholic Church and other spiritual groups and obstructed for many years by Republicans in the state Legislature.
Grein was not instantly offered for talk about Tuesday.
George Weigel, a John Paul II biographer and senior Vatican expert for NBC News, stated that what came through to him in the Vatican report was that “McCarrick was a consummate and pathological liar as well as a predator.”
The report, which was commissioned by Pope Francis in 2018 and consists of interviews with over 90 witnesses and information events and accusations of abuse, took 2 years to put together.
According to the examination, Francis was provided proof of McCarrick’s misbehavior just in 2017. Francis has actually regularly rejected understanding of McCarrick’s sexual misbehavior.
Against the background of the #MeToo period, dealing with sexual assaults that have actually damaged the Catholic Church’s credibility has actually been a significant obstacle for Francis, with victims requiring a crackdown on bishops implicated of hiding or mishandling cases.
The report “did not examine the issue of McCarrick’s culpability. … That question has already been adjudicated,” however the report stated Vatican detectives did take a look at “institutional knowledge” surrounding his habits.
A previous archbishop of Washington, D.C., McCarrick recognized to U.S. political elites.
He commanded the 2009 funeral service of Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., in 2009 and existed at the funeral service Mass of President-choose Joe Biden’s kid Beau in Delaware in 2015.
The 4 U.S. dioceses where McCarrick served — New York; Metuchen and Newark in New Jersey; and Washington, D.C. — likewise performed different examinations that fed into the Vatican report.
It laid out how McCarrick relatively handled to increase through the ranks of the church, regardless of allegations of supposed sexual misbehavior with adult male seminarians and minors.
McCarrick, 90, who has actually been residing in privacy in the U.S., has actually formerly reacted openly just to the accusations of abuse of minors, stating he had “absolutely no recollection” of them.
He has actually not talked about supposed sexual misbehavior with adult guys or on this report. NBC News has actually connected to U.S. Archdioceses for remark.
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“We publish the report with sorrow for the wounds that these events have caused to the victims, their families, the Church in the United States, and the Universal Church,” Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican secretary of state, stated in a declaration.
Parolin stated that he and Pope Francis had actually seen the testaments of victims which in releasing the report “the truth has been pursued.”
Reuters added to this report.